From the chalked up dirt to the green grass in the outfield the softball field is where I always want to be. Other people see it as a sport, but it is much more than that. Softball to me is an escape and every time I step on that field I feel as if I belong. In school everyone is so quick to judge you making you feel like you don’t belong. However on the field you have a team that treats each other as a family. Everyone shares the same love for the game, which makes playing 10 times more fun.
I remember my first day stepping onto the field. It was freshmen year and I had heard about the team through a friend. I was not so sure about joining the team at first because it has been a while since I played. At this time I was cheerleading for Chargers, CFA All Star Team and Coral Glades squad. However, I saw softball as a great opportunity to meet new people and try something new. That was the best decision I made in high school. As soon as I stepped onto that field I was welcomed with open arms! I made so many new friends through softball. They have helped me build the skills I needed to excel. Being on a team where everyone can get along and help each other is honestly the best feeling ever.
I have dedicated my heart and soul into my team. Always attending every event I could, and having my game face on ready for a win. There is something about stepping onto the pitchers mound ready to throw the first strike that makes me never want to leave the field. However an even better feeling is that sweet spot the ball hits when you power hit one to the gap in the outfield. Words can’t even explain how good that feels. My three years of dedication to this team paid off when I was promoted to captain on the varsity team my senior year. I got to show everyone that I could be a leader and lead everyone into victory. Being a captain doesn’t mean just ordering people around, it is much more then that. To be a leader you have to earn respect from your players and show them that you have the ability to improve the team positively. I personally think I have earned that respect from my players. Even though we have been through many difficulties this year I wouldn’t trade my team for any other. I mean all families go through rough patches in their lives!
Softball has taught me so many valuable lessons. For example, if you want something you have to work for it, never expect it to be handed to you. This lesson I plan on carrying with me throughout my entire life. The other lesson I learned applies to every team sport but especially for softball; “There is no “I” in TEAM”. This is a lesson that was learned the hard way. You CAN NOT go out on the field if you are not a team player. The whole game of softball involves communication, teamwork, and skill, no matter what position you play. If you are not a team player then there is a 100% guarantee you will not be put in the game. Although this is not really a lesson that I learned I thought I should address that even though my team went through the hardship of the death of Jessi, everyone carried on in her honor. I am sad to say that I didn’t have the privilege of meeting her, however everyone always said wonderful things about her. One day everyone pointed out a dragonfly on the field. I looked at it and said, “What is so special about a dragonfly?” Well little did I know the dragonfly symbolized Jessis’ presence. This symbol bonded everyone together in a way I don’t think anyone could ever understand. It is what made the difference from us being a team to being a family.
Last year I was proud to assist my sisters 10 and under rec softball team. I went out to her practices and helped the team as a teen coach. This was a privilege for me because I was able to help the young players advance their skills for the game. They were as eager to learn as I was to coach. Watching these kids play and learn the fundamental skills of softball was one of the best experiences by far. I was able to build their self-esteem and softball skills, which would advance them no matter what path they took. These kids looked at me as a role model and were always quick to ask questions on how they could better their skills. I was so proud that my sister was able to share the same love of softball as I did. I was also happy that I was able to help her in her games to better her for a good future. Who knows maybe in 3 years she will also play for the Coral Glades Jaguars.
Furthermore, the skills and lessons I have obtained from playing softball are ones that I will carry with me throughout my entire life. Teamwork is a requirement in most career paths and softball has taught me how to work with others and be a player on the team. The ability to lead this year as captain is another trait that will assist me no matter where my future endeavors take me. This leadership role has shown me that working with others and helping them achieve their goals is very rewarding and something I may look to do as I pursue my college education.
So the real question is, “What does softball mean to me?” it is hard to sum that up in just 3-5 pages because it means everything to me. The thought of this being my senior year, my final season as a high school player, saddens me. Softball is an escape from reality where I don’t have to worry about the stress of homework. When you go out onto the field you forget about all the outside obstacles you’ll face everyday for the rest of your life. On the field you play hard you have fun, you can vent any frustration by smacking the ball clear to the outfield. The adrenaline you get when you throw someone out at first or you catch a fly ball, maybe even stopping that runner from scoring at home plate, is a feeling like any other. The field is a place where I can be with my second family. Somewhere I can show people what I can do and who I am. Even though I won’t go pro, that is no reason not to play. I play because it is my source of enjoyment. It is my home away from home. I plan on playing in college because lets face it where would I be without the game of softball.